Thoughts on a rainy Tuesday morning.

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Yesterday afternoon I saw a post on a friend's Facebook page about a family--husband, wife, and two sons--who died from carbon monoxide poisoning over the weekend in Pocatello, Idaho.

This is sad enough as it is, but when I read the name of the husband, Bill Parrish, this tragedy immediately hit pretty hard. I went to school with Bill at good ol' Highland High School in Pocatello, Idaho. I interacted with him in classes. I did fun high school activities with him from time to time. I'd been in his home. I looked up to him as a leader (he was either Senior Class President or Student Body President, I can't remember which right now). I looked up to him as a peer--he was always kind, stuck to his standards, and was a friend to everyone. Everyone. I also know his cousin, Craig, who has been quoted in some of the news releases, and who was more of a brother to Bill than a cousin. The whole Parrish family is one extremely close-knit family. An awesome family. A family loved by pretty much everyone in the area.

Bill and his wife Ross also have two other children who are serving full-time missions for our church. My heart breaks for these two kids right now, who are coming home from their missions today to be with family and do what needs to be done. Bill's awesome example (and I'm sure his wife was just as awesome as he was!) has rubbed off on his kids, as his missionary daughter asked to be able to stay today to do her part in a missionary zone conference this morning before flying home. Seriously. That speaks volumes.

When I first heard this sad news yesterday, I think I kind of went into shock. Like, did this really happen, or am I making it up? Then I moved on to wondering how does this happen? Most of a family gone at once? Then when I woke up this morning randomly at 1 a.m., the truth really hit, and I've been kind of emotional ever since.

It's a good day for it to be a rainy day.

I'm praying the Parrish family, Ross' family (Bill's wife), and especially his two remaining kids can find peace and comfort in all the thoughts and prayers being offered for them from all over the country, and probably the world.

This story also reminds me of a young mother, who was friends with several of my friends in Arizona but whom I never met, who suddenly died a few months ago a week after giving birth to her second child. She left behind a young husband, toddler son, and brand new baby girl. Again. Unbelievable at first, but then a pretty hard hit to the heart afterward.

Both of these experiences, and others just like them, beg the questions Why? Why are parents taken from their children who still need them desperately? Why are both parents taken at the same time? Why do kids have to die before they get to experience all the milestones of life? Why? Why? Why?

Tough questions to answer. Almost impossible at times.

But I do know a couple of things.


Because of and through my knowledge of the gospel, I know God loves each one of us and has a plan for our individual lives, and while I do not know--or even understand--that plan at times (like now), I know it's what's best. Even if and when it doesn't make sense with my earthly eyes, because God's eyes are eternal and He can see so much more than I can ever hope to see. This is faith, which can do miracles when I'm dealing with hard things. My all-time favorite quote on faith is from Virginia H. Pearce (one of President Hinckley's daughters), from a talk she gave many years ago:

When we bring that definition [of faith] into everyday language, faith means that I really believe that:
  • Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ live, and they are in charge of this world. 
  • They know me. 
  • They love me. 
  • They have a plan for my future. 
  • I will obey the commandments, work hard, and trust in their plan. Sooner or later, everything will be okay.

I have sometimes clung to this thought during difficult times, and I'm sure it'll be on my mind the next little while. 


I know Families Can Be Together Forever. Even though we're separated from our loved ones for a time by death, we can be together forever one day. And this knowledge brings me so much comfort and hope. Especially during tough times.

And this tragic event, and others like it, also reminds me to let the little unimportant things go, to not stress so much about the future and things I have no control over, and to take better advantage of every single moment I have with those I love. Because I never know when this moment might be the last.


It's a good day for a rainy day.


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